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What damages are recoverable in bicycle accident cases?
- March 29, 2017
Bicycle accidents are often devastating for those involved. When a bike is hit by a car, there are almost always injuries. Cars are significantly larger and more powerful than bicycles and when one is hit by a car, the speed of the car plays a large role in the severity of the accident. If you are involved in a bicycle accident, you could wonder what damages are recoverable should you choose to pursue legal avenues. Bicyclists are issued the same duty of care as any car on the road, and that means there are many damages you can potentially recover if your case is strong enough.
If you’re injured in a bicycle accident, you’ll incur hospital bills. Even minor injuries can add up quickly, and your health insurance might not cover all of the cost of these bills. Car insurance policies are typically limited to the amount they’ll pay out for medical bills in many states, and that amount is approximately $10,000. If you have medical bills exceeding that, it’s going to be difficult to collect that amount.
If your injuries are serious and require ample recovery or they are catastrophic and slated to change your life forever, you’re going to want to pursue legal matters. You can sue for compensation to cover the cost of the medical bills you’ve already incurred, and you can sue for compensation to cover the cost of future medical bills incurred due to accident injuries. This is also inclusive of future medical care, long-term medical care, and specialized medical equipment.
Lost Wages and Income
Some injuries are serious enough to require a long hospital stay, surgeries, and ample recovery time. If you are someone who was injured badly enough in a bicycle accident to need that time to recover from your injuries, you’re losing wages. You can’t work because of this, and your employer is not required to pay you when you are not at work. Your employer is not permitted to fire you for this, but he or she can make the decision to withhold income from you if you’re not working.
Many accident victims suffer from something called diminished earning capacity along with lost wages. What this means is you are no longer able to return to return to the line of work you did prior to your accident. Someone who does manual labor, such as a construction worker, cannot return to his or her job if he or she loses both arms in an accident. This doesn’t mean he or she cannot work in another industry, but it does mean they are limited to what they can do. It usually means being unable to find another job with as much earning potential.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a broad term. Bicycle accident victims can sue for pain and suffering if they have experienced injuries that changed their life. This could include losing their home because they were unable to work and earn an income to pay their mortgage. It could be losing a loved one and the pain and anguish that comes with that.
If you are involved in a bicycle accident in which another rider dies or if you are the immediate family member of a loved one killed in a bike accident, you can sue for the cost of funeral and burial expenses. This is a difficult process to deal with, but it’s one you have to face if you are a person who experiences the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence.
There are many other things you can sue for if you are injured or lose someone in a bike accident, but it’s wise to call a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Without knowing the specifics, it’s not easy to tell you whether you can sue for one thing or another. A personal injury attorney is here to help you discuss the case, your next steps, and how to handle what’s to come. You have rights, and it’s time you learn what they are so you can begin the process of healing from this tragic accident.